An Evaluation of the Factors Influencing the Establishment of the Domestic Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Industry in Zambia

This study evaluates the factors that influence the establishment of a domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in Zambia. The study was prompted by empirical evidence signifying a downward trend in the local pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity, which has led to a declining growth of the industry, despite the country’s current positive economic growth of above 5% of Gross Domestic Product. Literature on the pull and push factors looked at the challenges that political, economic, social and technologic factors have on the industry. A critical assessment of the procedures involved in establishing medicine manufacturing, and an analysis of the appropriate marketing strategies employed by firms, provided a framework of the study. The study adopted a quantitative design approach using a questionnaire on a sample of 25 participants with relevant experience in the pharmaceutical sector in evaluating and assessing the various key factors related to the industry.

The findings revealed that local manufacturing of essential medicines and developing domestic plants in Zambia meets with manifold challenges related to internal dimensions of manufacturing. The lack of incentives, adequately trained human resource, capital, market size, infrastructure and regulatory capacity on pharmaceutical standards and partnerships needed to foster innovation and technological transfer that have a direct impact on the growth of the industry. Data from the study has clearly indicated the need to enhance pharmaceutical production and promote its viability through the usage of appropriate marketing strategies. One of the key recommendations made from the study on how the industry can remain viable and improves its performance, is by the Government implementing the provisions of the National Drug Policy of 1999.

The study clearly shows that the development of the industry is feasible, as policies and legal provisions are in place. The market should promote local pharmaceutical production that will enhance increased accessibility of medicines thereby improving the quality of health, contribute to employment creation, reduce poverty levels and improve the country’s overall Gross Domestic Product. 

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Edith Chimusoro
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